The Madman Theory did not die with Richard Nixon. It's alive and well and residing in the heart and mind of John McCain. It's too perfect -- it fits the character of McCain, the most compulsive gambler in American politics, and it fits the nature of his long-shot Hail Mary 2008 bid for the White House. McCain and his Bush-supplied strategists know they can't replace a 24-percent popular president by running on the issues, or even by running a conventional modern campaign of debates and rallies punctuated by a few well-chosen smear ads.
Nope, John McCain knows that the only way he can win this election is to act completely, one-flew-over-the-cookoo's-nest bat-guano crazy -- and to hope that the relatively untested Barack Obama is so rattled that he and the Democrats do something really stupid, and also that voters are so confused by and focused on his stunts there won't be a moment to reflect on Bush's legacy and what this election is really supposed to be all about.-- WILL BUNCH
It looks like John McCain and the House GOP decided to swoop in at the least minute and scuttle a kinda sorta okay bailout package in favor of a counterproposal of tax cuts for rich people and corporations. . . .
If conservatives won’t play ball, I think the smart move for progressives on the Hill is to come back to Bush and Paulson with a much less palatable plan — huge stimulus, big tax hikes on super-high earners, mortgage cramdowns, etc. Let Bush either cave 100 percent to a Nancy Pelosi dream deal or else let Bush bring McCain and John Boehner to the table. There’s no reason for progressives to be making concessions to the Bush administration and the financial industry if they can’t even get their lackeys to back their own plan.
-- RON DREHER
Reporters have been clamoring for weeks to get a shot at asking Sarah Palin questions in an unstructured setting. When they finally got the opportunity this morning, Palin again demonstrated why the McCain campaign has striven to keep her hidden away. Because during her brief press appearance today, presumably to the horror of the campaign, the Alaska governor wasted no time in linking Iraq to 9/11.
Couric interviews Palin. Not as bad as Gibson, but good lord. This campaign is now officially surreal. If Palin is supposed to be the "ordinary American" she passed that test--she really does sound like an ordinary American. Her answers sound like the responses Couric would get if she interview one of my friends. At three A.M. After a night of drinking.
COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--
PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.
COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.
PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--
COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?
PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.